A new article by Alisa Harris in World Magazine discusses the relationship between Komen and Planned Parenthood. Her story includes misinformation and omissions about the abortion-breast cancer link for the magazine's Christian readers.
Following this message, you will find my open letter to the editor of World Magazine. In that letter, I wrote:
"I challenge Komen, the American Cancer Society and other cancer groups that have the audacity to deny the ABC link to either prove Brind wrong or stop misleading women and causing more breast cancers than they prevent."
ACTION ITEM: Write or call the magazine to request a correction.
Letters to the editor:
Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer
"An Open Letter to World Magazine"
by Karen Malec, President, Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer
Re: "Life or death? ABORTION PRESENT: Group that fights breast cancer maintains troubling ties to Planned Parenthood," By Alisa Harris, January 17, 2008. Available at: http://www.worldmag.com/articles/article.cfm?eid=A7F4B067-EC95-B315-9BF5442343E44C33
A new article in World Magazine discussed the disturbing financial relationship between the breast cancer group, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and an organization that is the primary cause of the breast cancer epidemic in the U.S. - Planned Parenthood.
The author, Alisa Harris, correctly reported that basic medical textbooks acknowledge that full term pregnancies offer women a considerable reduction in breast cancer risk. Logically, that means that the woman who chooses not to have a baby (i.e. by having an abortion) has a higher breast cancer risk than does the one who has a baby. The loss of the protective effect of a full term pregnancy is the first of three ways that abortion is linked with increased breast cancer risk (known as the "ABC link").
Harris' story, however, included inaccuracies and omitted important facts. Eight medical organizations acknowledge that abortion further raises a woman's risk (independently of the loss of the protective effect of childbearing) by leaving her breasts with more places for cancer to start. 
I am troubled that Harris left her readers in doubt about the existence of the independent link. She said Komen's officials dispute the independent link because:
"In 2003, 100 experts from the National Cancer Institute concluded there was no link between breast cancer and either miscarriages or induced abortions. Harvard University and Oxford University have found similar results in the past two years."
If Harris would read the National Cancer Institute's (NCI) workshop conclusions, she would find that the federal agency acknowledged the protective effect of a full term pregnancy, but then blatantly contradicted itself by denying an ABC link.
Research shows that abortions raise risk, but most miscarriages do not raise risk. The NCI throws up fairy dust and confuses the public by mixing up these effects. More about that later.
It is disheartening that Harris did not inform her Christian readers about a shocking quote from Dr. Leslie Bernstein, a lead moderator at the NCI's workshop (which has been called a "political sham"). The quote reveals Bernstein's motivation for concealing the ABC link from the public. After the workshop, she told a journalist at CancerPage.com that an early first full term pregnancy (before age 24) provides women with the best way to prevent the disease, but Bernstein doesn't want women to know about it. She said:
"The biggest bang for the buck is the first birth and the younger you are the better off you are...There are so many other messages we can give women about lifestyle modification and the impact of lifestyle and risk that I would never be a proponent of going around and telling them that having babies is the way to reduce your risk.
"I don't want the issue relating to induced abortion to breast cancer risk to be part of the mix of the discussion of induced abortion, its legality, its continued availability. I think it should not be part of the argument." (Available at: http://www.cancerpage.com/news/article.asp?id+5601)
Bernstein's abandonment of fundamental ethical principles is not uncommon among scientists today whose own textbooks encourage them to become activists. (For example, see: Understanding the Fundamentals of Epidemiology: An Evolving Text by Victor J. Schoenbach, Ph.D. and Wayne D. Rosamond, Ph.D. Available at <http://www.epidemiolog.net>)
The journal Nature published an article, "Scientists behaving badly," in 2005 showing that in an anonymous survey of several thousand career scientists who receive funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), an astounding percentage admitted to participating in the most egregious misbehaviours.  For instance, 15.5% were willing to admit they had "changed the design, methodology or results of a study in response to pressure from a funding source" (that would be the NIH) within the previous three years.
When scientists become unethical, they can do great harm to the dignity of mankind.
The biological reason for the ABC link is extremely compelling, but Harris' article (and even Komen whose mission is to "eradicate breast cancer") omits any discussion of it. Even the most virulently pro-abortion scientists - who (appallingly) testify as expert witnesses for abortion providers in lawsuits challenging state parental notice and consent laws that protect minors from predatory abortion industry practices - have never attempted to refute the biological reason for the ABC link because it is physiologically correct.
Harris, furthermore, inaccurately quoted New Jersey breast cancer surgeon Angela Lanfranchi. Harris wrote:
"But Lanfranchi would add that abortions, both spontaneous and induced, create cancer-vulnerable breast tissue...."
Lanfranchi's medical journal articles make it abundantly clear that most miscarriages do not raise risk, but abortions do raise risk. [3,4] Most miscarriages are abnormal first trimester pregnancies with low hormonal levels that are insufficient to maintain those pregnancies, but most abortions are normal pregnancies with elevated hormonal levels. Studies have demonstrated that doctors can predict when a woman will have a miscarriage by drawing her blood and measuring hormonal levels.
The ABC link is about cancer-susceptible breast lobules being overexposed to the hormone estrogen, which is known to be a cancer-causing agent. Most of the lobules in a childless woman's breasts consist of cancer-susceptible Type 1 and 2 lobules. That is where 95% of all cancers originate.
During a normal pregnancy, estrogen causes breast growth by stimulating the lobules to multiply, so the woman who has the abortion is left with more places in her breasts for cancers to start (the independent link). However, the woman who has a full term pregnancy experiences a protective process during the last months of pregnancy known as "differentiation," which by the time of delivery, matures 85% of her lobules into fully cancer-resistant Type 4 lobules. That explains the protective effect of a full term pregnancy.
There is strong biological support for the independent link in other related scientific evidence. Similar biological events should have similar results. Several studies have found that a premature birth before 32 weeks of pregnancy increases breast cancer risk. [5,6,7,8] Why? For the same biological reasons explained above. The mother experiences the same hormonal influence on her breasts as the one who has an abortion. She, too, is left with more places in her breasts for cancers to start.
Scientists do not challenge the evidence supporting a link between premature birth before 32 weeks gestation and breast cancer, but they disingenuously challenge any findings that implicate their beloved surgical procedure - abortion - as an independent link for the disease. Komen (and other cancer groups) does not reveal this uncomfortable truth to its supporters either.
A Danish study, Melbye et al. 1997, found a 3% increase in risk for every week of pregnancy that passed before an abortion took place.  The biological explanation is very simple. The longer the mother is pregnant before her abortion takes place, the longer she is overexposed to estrogen, and the greater the number of cancer-vulnerable lobules that her breasts grow.
Importantly, the Institute of Medicine recognizes abortion as an "immutable medical risk factor for premature birth."  The Stop Cancer Coalition in Vancouver reports that some 100 studies support that link. Therefore, it can be concluded that abortion can cause a woman to have a premature birth in a subsequent pregnancy and - if she gives birth before 32 weeks of pregnancy - it puts her at risk for breast cancer (not to mention the fact that her premature child is at risk for cerebral palsy and other serious conditions).
Harris' article omitted other important facts. The overwhelming majority of epidemiological studies report risk increases for women who have had abortions. One study in 2007 found abortion to be the "best predictor of breast cancer" for eight European nations.  Patrick Carroll, a statistician and actuary, proved that he could predict future breast cancer rates for England and Wales for the years 2003 and 2004 with nearly 100% accuracy by using abortion rates.
The British insurance magazine, The Actuary, reported his findings in November of 2007 ; and the Royal Statistical Society sponsored a panel discussion of it last year. Strangely, Komen (and other cancer groups supposedly dedicated to the eradication of breast cancer) does not talk about that study either, not even during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
As for the studies by Oxford and Harvard researchers that Komen likes to use to deny an ABC link, women have a right to know that these studies have been criticized in medical journals for having serious flaws. [13,14] The Oxford study received criticism from four researchers (independently of one another) in five separate medical journals. [15,16,17,18] That fact doesn't seem to faze Komen's officials.
The Harvard study received criticism for violating a basic scientific principle of allowing sufficient time to pass after an abortion before following-up to see how many subjects in the study have developed breast cancer.  A minimum follow-up time of eight to ten years is considered ideal.
According to Joel Brind, president of the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute, opponents of the ABC link are fond of incorporating a lack of follow-up time in the prospective studies that they use to deny an independent link. 
In 2005, Brind reviewed 10 prospective studies that abortion zealots use to deny the independent link (including the Oxford study).  He concluded that they are severely flawed and cannot be used to deny the much larger body of studies that support that link. Although the journal that published Brind's review has no time limit for critics to send letters proving Brind was wrong, no one has ever challenged his conclusions.
I challenge Komen, the American Cancer Society and other cancer groups that have the audacity to deny the ABC link to either prove Brind wrong or stop misleading women and causing more breast cancers than they prevent.
There is no doubt that Planned Parenthood causes more women to develop breast cancer through its sales of cancer-causing hormonal contraceptives/abortifacients. The World Health Organization assigned combined (estrogen + progestin) oral contraceptives ("the pill") and combined hormone replacement therapy (HRT) the highest level of carcinogenicity - Group 1 - in 2006. [21,22]
Both contain the same type of drugs - estrogen + progestin. In the case of combined oral contraceptives (drugs which can be delivered through the pill, IUD, injection, vaginal ring or transdermal patch), exposure often takes place during the most cancer-vulnerable time of a woman's life - before first full term pregnancy when nearly all of her breast lobules are cancer-susceptible Type 1 and 2 lobules.
Recognition of a breast cancer risk involving either use of the pill or HRT containing estrogen and progestin also provides additional biological support for an independent link between abortion and breast cancer. The biological basis is the same. It's about cancer-vulnerable breast lobules being overexposed to estrogen while in the presence of progesterone.
According to a 2008 report from STOPP International, Komen gave Planned Parenthood $711,485 between April 2005 and April 2006.  Is it reasonable for Komen to entrust Planned Parenthood with the important job of breast cancer screening, even when there are so many legitimate organizations that already carry out this function? Certainly, not! It is as scandalous and offensive as if the American Lung Association had entrusted the tobacco company, Philip Morris, with funds to screen its customers for lung cancer!
Komen's former Latina adviser, Eve Sanchez Silver points out that Planned Parenthood does not even serve the right demographic for breast cancer screening. Planned Parenthood's customers are young people. Breast cancer occurs most often in women 50+ years old.
In conclusion, I ask World Magazine to correct Harris' misinformation.
Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer
1. For a list of the medical organizations recognizing the independent link, see: http://www.abortionbreastcancer.com/medicalgroups/index.htm
2. Martinson B, Anderson M, de Vries R. Commentary: Scientists behaving badly. Nature 2005;435.
3. Lanfranchi A. The science, studies and sociology of the abortion-breast cancer link. Research Bulletin 2005;18:1-8. Available at: http://www.abortionbreastcancer.com/June2005.pdf
4. Lanfranchi A. The breast physiology and the epidemiology of the abortion breast cancer link. Imago Hominis 2005;12(3): 228-236. http://www.abortionbreastcancer.com/Lanfranchi060201.pdf
5. Melbye M, Wohlfahrt J, Andersen A-M N, Westergaard T, Andersen PK. Preterm delivery and risk of breast cancer. Bri J Cancer 1999;80:609-13.
6. Hsieh C-c, Wuu J, Lambe M, Trichopoulos D, et al Delivery of premature newborns and maternal breast-cancer risk. Lancet 1999;353-1239.
7. Vatten LJ, et al. Pregnancy related protection against breast cancer depends on length of gestation. Br J Cancer 2002;87:289-90.
8. Innes K and Byers T. First pregnancy characteristics and subsequent breast cancer risk among young women. Int J Cancer 2004; 112:306-311.
9. Melbye M, Wohlfahrt J, Olson JH, Frisch M, Westergaard T, Helweg-Larsen K, Andersen PK. Induced abortion and the risk of breast cancer. N Engl J Med 1997;336:81-85.
10. Richard E. Behrman, Adrienne Stith Butler, Editors. Preterm birth: Causes, Consequences and Prevention. Committee on Understanding Premature Birth and Assuring Healthy Outcomes. Institute of Medicine. Appendix B, Table 5, p. 519. Available at: <http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=11622&page=625>.
11. Carroll, P. The breast cancer epidemic: modeling and forecasts based on abortion and other risk factors." J Am Phys Surg Vol. 12, No. 3 (Fall 2007) 72-78. Available at: <http://www.jpands.org/vol12no3/carroll.pdf>.
12. Carroll P. The Breast Cancer Epidemic. The Actuary (November 2007) p. 30-31. Available at: <http://www.the-actuary.org.uk/pdfs/07_11_30-31.pdf>.
13. Beral V, Bull D, Doll R, Peto R, Reeves G. Collaborative Group of Hormonal Factors in Breast Cancer. Breast cancer and abortion: collaborative reanalysis of data from 53 epidemiological studies, including 83,000 women with breast cancer from 16 countries. Lancet 2004;363:1007-16.
14. Michels K, Xue Fei, Colditz G., Willett W. Induced and Spontaneous Abortion and Incidence of Breast Cancer Among Young Women. Arch Int Med 167:814-820.
15. Schlafly A. Legal implications of a link between abortion and breast cancer. J Am Phys Surgeons 2005;10:11-14. Available at: <http://www.jpands.org/vol10no1/aschlafly.pdf>.
16. Brind J. The abortion-breast cancer connection. National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly Summer 2005; p. 303-329. Available at: <http://www.AbortionBreastCancer.com/Brind_NCBQ.PDF>.
17. Lanfranchi A. The abortion-breast cancer link revisited. Ethics and Medics (November 2004) Vol. 29, No. 11, p. 1-4.
18. Furton E. The corruption of science by ideology. Ethics and Medics (Dec. 2004) Vol. 29, No. 12, p. 1-2.
19. Brind J. Induced abortion and breast cancer: A critical analysis of the report of the Harvard Nurses Study II. J Am Phys Surg 2007;12(2)38-39.
20. Brind J. Induced abortion as an independent risk factor for breast cancer: A critical review of recent studies based on prospective data. J Am Phys Surg Vol. 10, No. 4 (Winter 2005) 105-110. Available at: < http://www.jpands.org/vol10no4/brind.pdf>.
21. Cogliano V, Grosse Y, Baan R, Secretan B, El Ghissassi F. Carcinogenicity of combined oestrogen-progestagen contraceptives and menopausal treatment. Lancet Oncology 2005;6:552-553.
22. Press Release No. 167, "IARC Monographs Programme Finds Combined Estrogen-Progestogen Contraceptives (the "pill") and Menopausal Therapy Are Carcinogenic to Humans," World Health Organization International Agency for Research on Cancer, July 29, 2005. See <http://www.iarc.fr/ENG/Press_Releases/pr167a.html>.
23. Baggot, M. "Report Reveals Komen Gave Over $700 Thousand to Planned Parenthood in One Year / STOPP calls for end to Komen funding," LifeSiteNews.com, April 10, 2008. Available at: http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/apr/08041002.html
The Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer is an international women's organization founded to protect the health and save the lives of women by educating and providing information on abortion as a risk factor for breast cancer.
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